News, views and reviews on Welsh brews from Neil Goodman.
It’s the most wonderful time for a beer! From Santa Paws to X-Moose, it’s not Christmas without a Winter Warmer. Wales is producing some quality beers right now – and that includes the festive brews too.
This month I decided to look at one of the finest festive tipples: Santa’s Little Belter, from Glamorgan Brewery in Llantrisant. For the first time, Santa’s Little Belter is available in bottles due to overwhelming public demand – the cask ale is the number one selling Welsh Christmas Ale.
Starting with the label, it’s clear that a lot of thought has gone into the design and it looks stunning. I particularly liked the styling of the label paying homage to Glamorgan’s beginnings. Before the move to Llantrisant, this brewery started life as Kite Brewery in Gorlas, and the kite can still be seen on all their beer clips and bottles; this one shows it pulling Santa’s sleigh, no less.
Coming in at a seasonable 4.4% abv, the beer is dark ruby red in colour and looks the very essence of what you’d expect from a winter beer, with a wonderful festive aroma. Rich and full-bodied, this is a very well-balanced beer. In an industry obsessed with hops, this focuses on the malts, which gives a nice malty biscuit flavour combined with fruity berry notes and dark chocolate in the aftertaste. If you’ve been bombarded with Christmas songs and the usual retail overkill, this yuletide treat may just put you in the festive mood – after all, ‘tis the season to be merry!
Santa’s Little Belter is available in 500ml bottles – separately or as part of the Wales Ales 12 Beers Of Christmas Pack, available at www.walesales.com or direct from the Glamorgan Brewery Shop – and in cask at numerous pubs throughout south Wales.